It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 2008 #1 ranking ruined UGA (for a moment)

When the 2008 Dawgs were ranked #1, I believe it ruined the attitude of the football team in Athens.

hard to see here, but their heads are HUGE
Granted, we had about 36 season ending injuries before that team ever hit the field. The blackout fiasco didn't help them much, either. By the time they got to Jacksonville, they lacked any ounce of confidence. And by the time Tech came to Athens, they simply didn't care anymore.

But the worst thing that came out of that (underachieving) season, was the sense of entitlement that lingered over the program for the next couple of years. Without naming any names, there were more than a healthy handful of players who felt they were just bigger than the program. They felt the entire world bowed down to them even if they were not producing wins.

The media can be your best friend, and your enemy. And the effects from positive and negative media can work adversely. When every media outlet in the nation declared the 2008 team "preseason national champions", I feel the positive media negatively effected the attitudes of many. As time would prove, many "cancers" that lingered from that 2008 squad continued to let the combination of the media's effects and the lack of caring at the end of that season inhabit themselves and the ones around them beyond that year.

"And now a new breed of bulldawg stands ready to take the field of battle"

I strongly feel that the 2011 Dawgs have successfully ridden themselves of the lasting effects of that 2008 team, which was also the core of the grueling 2009-10 teams. The media has been tilting toward the doom-and-gloom stance for some time now, and the new leadership on this team is sick of it. The adverse effect of this seems to be an entirely new attitude lining up between the hedges.

Aaron has been an impressive leader on and off the field
Aaron Murray is fastly becoming my second favorite (David Greene) UGA quarterback of all-time. Coach Richt refers to him as a "coaches dream". Players have come to UGA simply because Aaron did (Orson Charles), because they have been well aware of his leadership and drive. Tagged along with Christian Robinson, referred to by many as the "quarterback of the defense", the team is under some of the best leadership it has seen in some time. As a bonus, Ray Drew has been outspoken as a leader of the freshman class, and an avid recruiter of future Dawgs to come. I feel the team is in mighty fine hands at the moment.

I am excited to see how much the combination of "addition by attrition" and new leadership will translate into performance. I have to be completely honest, and admit that I am more willing than most to accept some hiccups this year, especially early. But the team is on a completely different track than it was this time 3 short years ago. And that track looks to be leading us back to brighter places, in the media and on the field.

10 short days til' kickoff!!


  1. Great post and I completely agree with the effects that preseason ranking had on our collective attitude. And while I tend to agree that we will have to accept some early hiccups this year on our way to better times; we will not be able wash off the stank that would be a loss to a WAC/mwc bsu team. That would stick on us for a very long time. For me, despite the national medias obsession and praise if boise, losing to them would be an outright embarrassment.

  2. I agree the sting would hurt from a Boise loss.

    However, they are ranked #5 in the nation for a reason. The best thing we can do if we lose, is ignore all the haters, and root for Boise (puke) for the rest of the season to prove they belong.

    I expect to start 1-1. Not sure which will be a loss, but despite the "panic" that will set in in many impatient fans, I feel the overall attitude and respect of Dawg Nation will be through the roof come mid to late November. Reality will set in how young our team is and how well they are playing, and the future will look bright.

    Remember, Alabama is pretty much dismantling after this season, and we will bring a VERY finely tuned Dawgs team to Tuscaloosa next October.

    Another chance for a statement?